Unsafe at Any Speed at 820Plaza


Artists: Ivana Basic, Valérie Blass, Michel De Broin, Matt Goerzen, Jon Rafman and Sydney Shen

Exhibition title: Unsafe at Any Speed

Organized by: Eli Kerr

Venue: 820Plaza, Montreal, Canada

Date: October 9 – November 20, 2015

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artists and 820Plaza, Montreal

Note: Accompanying exhibition text written by Rebecca Lemire can be found here

820Plaza is pleased to host Unsafe at Any Speed, a group exhibition organized by Eli Kerr featuring works by Ivana Basic, Valérie Blass, Michel De Broin, Matt Goerzen, Jon Rafman and Sydney Shen.

“Unsafe at Any Speed” borrows its title from Ralph Nader’s 1963 expose on the American Auto Industry. The work, which hallmarked a fundamental moment in the history of consumer activism, revealed that the industry designed automobiles for aesthetics, speed and performance while neglecting to implement vital safety features.

By the turn of the 21st century the unit of personal computers sold per annum had far surpassed that of automobiles. A black 2001 Ford Explorer was one of the last cars to be manufactured in the 20th century. Large, powerful and austere, the American SUV became emblematic of resilience in the early 2000’s, providing a perceived security and safety in a time plagued by anxieties of terror and existential risk.

Deconstructed on site at 820Plaza, a former auto body garage, the Explorer has become a modern ruin and site to consider the ways in which contemporary forms of distress and uncertainty relate to technological environments, and how the legacies of these formations shape our bodies and the collective mental self.



Ivana Basic, Fantasy Vanishes In Flesh, 2015




Michel de Broin, Dehorning, 2015



Jon Rafman, Mainsqueeze, 2014

Jon Rafman, Mainsqueeze, 2014



Sydney Shen, Alain’s Document |, 2014


Valérie Blass, Untitled, 2009


Matt Goerzen, The Technical, 2015




Sydney Shen, Untitled (Edition Antifreeze), 2015


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